Tied to the Sky / buy kites in Canada

Wind Ranges for Kites - What to think!

Wind Ranges for Kites - What to think!

Andrea of Great Canadian Kite Company flying her Revolution kite

I remember as a kid trying to fly kites that you had to run like mad just to keep them aloft. It made for a very frustrating experience. One exception from my childhood was a delta shaped black plastic kite  - the one that you affixed adhesive eyes too. These fiery eyes made it look pretty cool, and you know, it flew pretty well! As fun as that kite was, being made of plastic it didn't last very long!

When we started the Great Canadian Kite Company (read our story here) we wanted to make sure that we sold a quality product that flew well and was built to be durable by quality kite standards. As such, the kites we have chosen are from reputable manufacturers with proven designs that fly in the stated conditions.

But even then... what does a wind range really mean? A wind range is provided to communicate the range of wind speed that the kite will fly in. So a range of 10 - 40 kph means that the kite is capable of flying in winds as low as 10 Kph to an upper limit of 40 kph.

The upper range can be a little more flexible if just flying the kite is the priority. When kites fly in winds above the range, they will often become much faster, harder to control, pull too hard and become difficult to trick. Too much wind will rip stitches and fabric, or break framing and line. It also can increase the potential for damage with hard crashes.

In higher winds you can add wind brakes or add tails, and this will often raise the upper limit.

Nexus Kite by Prism KitesSometimes, especially with stunt kites (low wind or Indoor) you see a lower wind range of zero or 5 or 8 or 10 kph. Low wind kite flying is an art as much as it is a science, and many manufacturers when establishing the lower end of the wind range have folks testing it who are really good pilots!

So can the kites fly at those low ranges? You bet! Can anybody fly them in the low range - with some practice you can learn to keep your kite aloft at the lowest wind ranges.

As kite professionals, we are here to offer you experienced recommendation on the kinds of kites and kite accessories that will get you in the air with the goal of providing the best kite flying experience we can!

Great Canadian Kite Company also have some Resources for the Kite Flyer:
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Buy your Kites in Canada. Exchange Rates & Other Considerations

Great canadian Kite Company - kite shopAfter a brief reprieve, the Canadian dollar is getting softer against the US greenback.  Reports this morning show a bearish (soft ) outlook for the Loonie, in part due to latest GDP and indications from the Bank of Canada that the expected interest rate hike may be delayed.

What's this got to do with kites?  Well, kites generally trade in US dollars, and as such, when our Loonie is soft it makes kites a little more expensive.  This being the case, buying kites in Canada can help you avoid credit cards surprises and customs costs and delays.

Of the many things we are proud of at the Great Canadian Kite Company. we take pride that we can compete well with often larger US kite retailers.   I have met many of these owners and staff and I have to say they are top notch folks!  They run good, honest businesses.   Sometimes though, Canadian kite shoppers believe better deals are to be had south of the border, BUT we are working hard to make sure that we are your first choice for quality kites and kite accessories!

Before you make that purchase from the USA, consider:

Exchange Rates - There are many currency converters online.  It is important to understand that these converters will give you a rates based upon the most recent close of the currency market and do not include the fee that your credit card issuer charges for processing the exchange.  This could be anywhere between 2-5% more!  I speak to many folks who get their credit card statement and realized what they thought was such a good deal turned out to be not so great after all.

Current exchange rate + Credit Card Exchange Fee x  Cost of item in US Dollars = cost in Canadian funds.
(example:  1 US dollar = $1.30 Cdn. + 3 cents C.C. exchange Fee x $100 US = $133 Cdn)

 As indication only, here is the Bank of Canada's Online Currency Exchange Calculator

Shipping Cost - Free Shipping on US sites usually mean in the continental USA, and don't usually apply to Canada.  In general, the shipping costs (in adjusted currency) are very similar and often you will receive your kite sooner from us.  Unfortunately, your order from the States can be at the mercy of Canada Customs and their processing volume.

Import Costs & Fees - Many folks have expressed surprise of having to pay more for their item at time of delivery.  Many report Sales Tax (GST or HST) payable at time of delivery.  Some have been hit with broker costs and processing fees from $25 - $80 depending on how their kites are shipped.

After-Sale Service -  We pride ourselves on "being there" even after the sale is done.  Don't misunderstand me, many US kite retailers are great as well, but as your home-grown Kite Shop, we can generally address your concerns, part requirements, etc. and get them delivered to you faster and always at a competitive price.

Returns & Exchanges - Great Canadian Kite Company has one of the most generous return and exchange policies and making your exchange or return is faster and easier than doing so back to the USA.  Shipping costs are often significantly less and turn around times much faster!

Special Orders - We have a good inventory of in-stock kites and accessories.  Many of these are elite kites from some of the Best Kite Makers in the world.  We choose our suppliers very carefully and have endeavoured to build good relationships with them.  As such, if we don't have that special kite you want in stock; we are often able to special order.  Quickly and easily!

Canadian Jobs & Canadian Economy -  We are a family owned and operated Canadian Kite retailer based in Taber, Alberta.   We support kite events and charities in Canada.  When you buy from us you are supporting Canadian small business, who in turn invest in the local economy.

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Flying Kites for the Health of it!

Flying Kites for the Health of it!

Health Fitness Revolution shared Top Ten Benefits of Kite-Flying on their site  in April of 2015. There are other articles along the same line but Health Fitness Revolution put together  a pretty impressive list. Here are their Top 10 Health Benefits of Kite-Flying:
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Why I like flying kites

sharing kites with studentsI am often asked why in a world of drones would I still fly kites. I smile and often hand the lines to them to fly my kite and watch them discover their own answer!

I mean no disrespect to drone flyers because I think they are pretty cool. I like technology, but after careful reflection, I find that for me kites are ideal, and here are just a few reasons why:

1) Kites are low tech - what I mean is they are flown by mechanical means (i.e., lines) and not via screens or joysticks. Truth be told I have way more screen time than I need! For fear of turning into a bigger vidiot, and exacerbating the stress injury to my gaming thumbs I prefer kites!  Some of the best kites are the simple ones you can make yourself with newspaper and masking tape.

2) Kites are High Tech - in their own way - there is a lot of science and engineering in good quality kites. From high tech sail cloth to high-tech carbon frames along with geometry there is a lot that goes into a performance kite. Consider many sport kites allow you to change and interchange framing which changes the flight characteristics. Learning the tweaks for your kite can be a lot of fun and produce some pretty amazing results.

3) Crashes are not nearly as catastrophic - Parts to repair your kite are easily accessible from quality kite shops, and you can be back in the air pretty quick. Most repairs can be a successful do-it-yourself project saving time, money and adding some new crafty skills to your bag of tricks!

4) Speaking of tricks! - Have you seen the latest in slack line tricks and expressive quad line kite videos? Wow! Modern stunt kites are capable of some pretty cool maneuvres which require practice and precision. Even someone with few hours can tear up the sky with colour and motion that will attract an audience.

5) Strings attached? You bet! This is one of my favorites because it has strings Great Canadian Kite Company - Mike Roseattached - it provides multi-sensory feedback and interaction with your kite. Not only to see your kite you interact with it directly as you provide the input, and you receive feedback through the lines from the kite. In a counterintuitive way, this is a really grounded experience or maybe a better way to describe it is like a dance where you and your partner respond to each other with each step!

6) Colour your World - I LOVE the colour and the creativity of kites in the sky! If you have visited our Kite shop, you will have noticed the multiplicity of colours, sizes, and shapes and this makes for a dynamic hobby experience. A kite bag with a variety of kites provides a wonderful way to decorate the sky!

7) Quiet, please! - Kites, in general, are very quiet. No whining of engines, they simply ride the wind. In a world that is so darn noisy, it can be a reset to the mind to go quiet. The sound the wind in the trees, a slight whistle on the line makes for a great, stress reducing afternoon. Like a little growl? Some stunt kites make a deep rumble as the wind departs the trailing edge as they tear through the sky .

8) No Batteries required - Kites don't require batteries and as such aren't limited to 20-minute flights, and there is no need for a recharge. The Wind and the lines are all you need to fly - and wind and weather permitting... all day long!

9) There's a kite for that! - No wind? Too much wind? There's a kite for that. Remember I was talking about high-tech materials and engineering? You can get kites that you can learn to fly with no wind! Yep - zip, zero, zilch! We also have kites that are designed for higher winds too - we have a new model coming from Revolution that appears to have way less sail material than frame - like me in a bathing suit (don't picture it!) I have seen video's of this kite performing in very high winds and handling it very well!

Want a kite for water? To pull a kayak? Take pictures from? Pull you on the snow? There's a kite for that!

10) Stress buster! I'm an introvert, and as such, I spend a lot of time in my head. This can sometimes not be a good place to be! So I find going and flying a kite a great way to "get out of my head," get into the present moment and connect in a multi-tactile way with the world. The colours of the kite, actively flying my kite, giving it input to do what I want it to do and getting the feed back from the kite itself demands I stay present. I find this incredibly effective at reducing stress, and often getting a fresh perspective.

Great Canadian Kite Company - online kite storeThere are times where I will put mu earbuds in and listen to whatever kind of music I'm feeling at the moment and flying my kite to that music. It's kind of like dancing, but it allows me to express my inner state of mind through the kite. I can fly my stress out through the lines and the kite. In short order, that stress energy is replaced with a greater sense of peace and the way I fly changes. However you like to fly, I just encourage you to fly your soul, express yourself, and have fun!!

These have been just a few reasons we LOVE flying kites and why we LOVE to share kites with others!

At Great Canadian Kite Company, not only do we pride ourselves in providing a variety of quality kites for many different interests, ages and abilities, we also want to do our best to make sure your kite flying experience is great, and that means we do our best to provide a selection of kite flying tips and advice in our Kite Blog section. Browse our online Canadian kite shop to buy your kites online. We ship throughout Canada. 

Don't see what you are looking for? Have a kite related question? Drop us an email!

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Flag Pole as a Wind Meter for Kite Flying

Canada flag - Taber Alberta. KitesWhen I was a young stunt kite flyer I would regularly pull out my wind metre (I have owned and lost many) and check the wind.

In the early days, I'd tweak my kite often trying to get it locked in for the wind conditions. Anyone who has flown on the prairies knows the wind is fickle and if you don't like it - no worries it will change 27 times per half hour!

While it's good to have a sense of what the wind is doing speed wise if you're gonna tweak it continually you won't get much air time. For me, I work to be aware of the wind (I'll tell ya my secret here in a minute) but I learn to adjust my flying rather than over tweaking my bridle and or frames. I will fly in the parts of the wind window that feels right and where the kite flies well.

Yes, we need to be aware of wind changes, and the dramatic changes you'll feel pretty fast but this simple trick helps me stay aware of wind direction, and changes in speed by watching flags. Whether I am flying or not I have the habit of watching flags on flag poles. I have learned by the behavior; angles and even the sound of a flag and this helps me evaluate wind conditions.



Watch a flag on a flag pole:

  • If the flag is limp with a little flutter the wind is typically less than 5 kph
  • As wind increase, the angle of the flag relative to the flag pole changes. So we can learn to estimate that angle.
  • If the flag is at a 45-degree angle then the wind speed is about 20 kph. If it is straight out, at 90 degrees you can estimate the wind at about 35-40 kph.
  • With this in mind, we can estimate the wind speed at other angles. At 22 or 75 degrees relative to the flag pole.
  • Is the flag is straight out (90 degrees relative to the flag pole) and is making a soft fluttering sound you know you are 40 - 50 kph and if the flag is making a hard, snapping sound you are upwards of 50 kph.


I'm aware that these are guess-timates at best and some may disagree with my estimations. The point is to develop your own wind sense relative to a nearby flag and flag pole and what your kite is telling you.

No flag or flag pole? I have wind feathers with streamer tails that work well too. There have been times where I have used a 1.4 inch, 4-foot piece of dowel with an eight-foot piece of surveyors tape tied to the end. I shoved it in the ground in a place where I could see it and it wasn't in the way. It worked well.

Typically, most consumer kites top out at 40 kph. When you fly them in higher than recommended wind they tend to be faster, harder to control and you risk damaging the sail, the frame or breaking the line. Good news though! There are kites that are built, designed and rated for higher winds - so not to worry. There's a kite for that!


At Great Canadian Kite Company, not only do we pride ourselves in providing a variety of quality kites for many different interests, ages and abilities, we also want to do our best to make sure your kite flying experience is great, and that means we do our best to provide a selection of kite flying tips and advice in our Kite Blog section. Browse our online Canadian kite shop to buy your kites online. We ship throughout Canada. 

Don't see what you are looking for? Have a kite related question? Drop us an email!

Read more →